Jandek The Beginning

Possibly Jandek’s most melodic album, The Beginning displays an impressive adeptness with his acoustic guitar and highly original songwriting. Jandek has mastered a unique guitar playing technique that stems from the blues tradition, yet is infused with a style that is his own, making the instrument almost sound like an oud, as he plucks and coaxes mournful, if not deeply introspective notes. At a time when we’re saturated by music from all fronts, it is a joy to encounter the music of one that evokes something different from the simple set-up of guitar and vocals. Jandek croons, moans and intones personal songs like "You Standing There,” "I Never Left You Anyway” and "Lonesome Bridge” with genuine feeling and emotional depth. One gets the impression that Jandek must have listened to a horde of old blues albums before embarking on The Beginning. I must seriously contend with anyone who is put off by Jandek’s singing and playing, because his musical expressions are too genuine and uncompromising to be listened to in the formulaic sense cultivated by the pop industry. One must listen to Jandek on his own terms, and in the process perhaps even get enamoured with the music of this genius. The Beginning closes off with the title track, which is a sparse yet beautiful piano solo articulated in the same unique fashion as his guitar. (Corwood)